SPEAKERS

Jorge J. Castillo, MD

Clinical Director, Bing Center for Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Division of Hematologic Malignancies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Castillo was born in Peru, received his medical degree in Mexico City, and completed his Internal Medicine and Hematology & Oncology training at the University of Massachusetts and Brown University, respectively. In 2013, Dr. Castillo was appointed Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Castillo is the Clinical Director of the Bing Center for Waldenström Macroglobulinemia at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and he sees approximately 1,000 patients with Waldenström Macroglobulinemia per year in his Clinic. Dr. Castillo is also the principal investigator in a series of innovative clinical trials evaluating highly effective non-chemotherapeutic approaches for patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia. Dr. Castillo is a member of the NCCN Committee for Myeloma, Amyloidosis and Waldenström Macroglobulinemia. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, and has published his research in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Blood.

Dr. Ajai Chari

Dr. Ajai Chari is an Associate Professor of Medicine, the Director of Clinical Research in the Multiple Myeloma Program, and the Associate Director of Clinical Research, Mt. Sinai Cancer Clinical Trials Office, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, NY.

In practice for more than 14 years, Dr. Chari specializes in plasma cell disorders including multiple myeloma and amyloid light-chain (AL). He performs a variety of procedures including bone marrow biopsy, and stem cell transplant. Dr. Chari has published extensively on these topics and has been invited to speak regionally, nationally, and internationally at major medical congresses such as the annual meetings of the American Society of Hematology and American Society of Clinical Oncology. In recognition of his efforts, Dr. Chari was named Healthcare Provider of the Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Dr. Chari’s research interests include the development of novel chemotherapy regimens, including Phase 1 and 2 studies. He is principal investigator (PI) of several investigator-initiated trials, and serves as the national and international PI of several industry-sponsored studies. As the Director of Clinical Research in the Multiple Myeloma Program, he oversees a program renowned nationally for both high volume patient accruals and rigorous quality assurance. The program has played a pivotal role in the approval of each of the five most recent medicines to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Dr. Chari received his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California – Los Angeles. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of California – San Francisco. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University.

Dr. Michael Chu

Department of Oncology
Cross Cancer Institute
Edmonton, AB

Dr. Michael Chu is a clinician scientist at the Cross Cancer Institute. He completed his medical training including General Internal Medicine residency and Medical Oncology fellowship at the University of Alberta. Dr. Chu was then awarded a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fellowship for a combined clinical and research fellowship at Stanford University. Upon returning to Edmonton, his clinical focus includes lymphoma, myeloma, and central nervous system malignancies. Academically, his research focuses on basic and translational cancer research with an emphasis on immune therapy (including monoclonal antibodies and cellular therapy). He also has a wide range of clinical research where he serves as principal investigator and sub-principal investigator on multiple phase I, II, and III clinical trials. Dr. Chu is actively involved in trainee education particularly with the local Medical Oncology fellows providing both didactic and bedside teaching. When not working hard at the Cross Cancer Institute, Dr. Chu is also a loving husband and father while maintaining his interests in various hobbies including basketball, photography, and piano.

Areas of research include the following: cancer biology, cellular therapy, therapeutic antibodies, minimal residual disease, stem cell transplantation, and hematologic cancers

Adam D. Cohen, MD

Dr. Adam Cohen received his medical degree and did his internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He completed a hematology/oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, including research training in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology under Alan Houghton, MD. He then served as faculty on the Hematology Service at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia. Currently, he is Director of Myeloma Immunotherapy, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Dr. Cohen is board certified in medical oncology and hematology. He is a member of ASCO, ASH, and AACR. He is also a member of the Multiple Myeloma Committee, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, and has served on the NCCN Multiple Myeloma Guidelines Panel. He is a medical advisor for the Myeloma Beacon, and an ad hoc reviewer for Leukemia, Blood, and Clinical Cancer Research, among other journals. His research interests involve novel therapeutics for plasma cell diseases, particularly vaccines and cellular immunotherapies. He has co-authored over 50 original articles, chapters, and reviews on cancer vaccines, tumor immunity, multiple myeloma, amyloidosis, and stem cell transplant.

Kevin Hay MD MSc FRCPC, Clinician Scientist

Terry Fox Laboratory & Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C.

Dr. Kevin Hay is a Clinician Scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory and Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC in Vancouver. Dr. Hay received a Master of Science in Immunology at the University of Manitoba (2008), followed by an MD (2011). After completing residency in Internal Medicine (2014) and a clinical fellowship in Haematology (2016) at the University of British Columbia, he was awarded a scholarship through the Clinician Investigator Program of UBC to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in cellular immunotherapy which he completed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle Washington under the mentorship of Dr. Cameron Turtle. Dr. Hay’s research focuses on understanding the unique toxicities associated with chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells, as well as the development of novel CAR-T cell therapies.

Dr. Nitin Jain, MD,

Dr. Jain is an Associate Professor in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, USA. He earned his medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India in 2002. He then moved to the United States and completed his Internal Medicine residency training at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He then completed a year of clinical fellowship in Leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center followed by another year of Leukemia research fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He then pursued fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago. He was then recruited as a faculty member in the Department of Leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2012.

Dr. Jain treats patients with acute and chronic leukemia with focus of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Dr. Jain research interests focus on new drug development for patients with leukemia, especially CLL and ALL. Dr. Jain is Principal Investigator of several investigator-initiated phase I-II clinical trials, including combination targeted therapies (ibrutinib and venetoclax) in CLL, combination of ibrutinib and chemotherapy (iFCG regimen) in CLL, checkpoint inhibitors in CLL and Richter transformation, trial with JAK2 inhibitor ruxolitinib in Ph-like ALL, novel CD22 antibody drug conjugate in B-ALL, venetoclax + chemotherapy in B- and T-ALL, and off-the-self allogeneic CART in B-ALL. He has published papers in prominent journals including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer, Leukemia Lymphoma, Leukemia Research and others. He has won many awards during his career including Sardari Lal Kalra Gold Medal in Microbiology and Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

He was ranked first at the national level in India in the medical school (AIIMS) entrance examination in the year 1997. He received High-Impact Clinical Research Support Award from MD Anderson Cancer Center in the year 2014 and 2016. He has served as a faculty on American Society of Hematology CRTI workshop for year 2017 and 2018. He is recipient of Sabin Family Foundation Award in 2018.

Meghan Mior, B.Sc. Pharm, PharmD

Clinical Practice Leader
Alberta Health Services, Pharmacy Services
Pharmacy Department, University of Alberta Hospitals
Edmonton, AB 

Meghan earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and her PharmD from the College of Pharmacy at Idaho State University. Her past clinical experience has been in oncology, with a focus in hematology oncology. She has experience setting up a new clinical practice in a multidisciplinary environment, precepting and mentoring of students and new staff, as well as clinical practice research experience. She is currently a clinical practice leader with Alberta Health Services and acts as a mentor to many clinical pharmacists.

Baljit Randhawa

Nurse Practitioner, Tom Baker Cancer Center

Baljit Randhawa is a Nurse Practitioner working in hematology-oncology and bone marrow transplant at the Tom Baker Cancer Center. She has been employed with this team since summer of 2018. Prior to this, her nurse practitioner employment included Alberta Thoracic Oncology Program in Edmonton. She graduated in spring of 2017 from University of Calgary with her Masters of Nursing and Post-Masters Nurse Practitioner diploma. She worked as a registered nurse in inpatient hematology-oncology and medical teaching for many years before pursuing further education.

David W Scott, MBChB PhD

Clinical Director, Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, BC Cancer
Deputy Head, Department of Lymphoid Cancer Research, BC Cancer Research Centre
Associate Professor, University of British Columbia

Dr. Scott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and a senior Scientist in the Department of Lymphoid Cancer Research (BC Cancer). He gained his MBChB/PhD from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Following his clinical fellowships in hematology, he took up a post-doctoral fellowship at BC Cancer with Drs. Gascoyne and Connors. In 2014, he was appointed as a Clinician-Scientist at BC Cancer, receiving the inaugural BC Cancer Foundation Clinical Investigator Award. Dr. Scott’s research focusses on unravelling the determinants of treatment failure in B-cell lymphoid cancers (lymphoma and CLL) and translating this knowledge into assays to guide treatment management. He has authored over 60 peer-reviewed papers, has been an invited speaker at many conferences and receives research funding from Genome Canada, the Terry Fox Research Institute, the Lymphoma Research Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He is the Clinical Director of BC Cancer’s Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, a member of the Lymphoma/Leukemia Molecular Profiling Project (LLMPP) and the Translational Sciences Co-Chair of the Lymphoma Tumor Group of ECOG.

Dr. Michael Sebag, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine,
Division of Hematology, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University
Montreal, QC

Michael Sebag, graduated from McGill University with a PhD in Physiology and from the University of Toronto with his Medical Degree. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology at McGill University followed by a fellowship in Multiple Myeloma at the Mayo Clinic with Drs Keith Stewart and Leif Bergsagel.  He has been on staff at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal since 2008 where his clinical and research focus is Multiple Myeloma.  His current research projects include immunotherapy trials in Myeloma, he is the lead investigator for the MCRN004 trial that has just completed accrual. He is also active in pre-clinical drug discovery and development with a focus on novel inhibitors of the mevalonate pathway.

Dr. Christopher Venner

Assistant Professor
Department of Oncology
Division of Medical Oncology
Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, AB

Dr. Venner hails from Edmonton, Alberta. He did his medical training at the University of Calgary. He returned to the University of Alberta to complete his internal medicine training prior to heading to Vancouver and the University of British Columbia to complete a specialty degree in Hematology. He then went on to be the inaugural Plasma Cell Dyscraia Fellow funded jointly through the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia along with St. Bartholomew’s and London School of Medicine as well as National Amyloidosis Centre, University College London. After spending a year completing his fellowship training in the UK he joined the National Amyloid Centre as a Staff physician before returning to Edmonton and the Cross Cancer Institute. He is currently the clinical lead for the Malignant Hematology Program at the CCI. In addition to being actively involved in hematology clinical trials, his current academic interest are in clinical research in Plasma Cell Dysciasias, examining the evolution of therapy in these diseases as well as the impact novel combinations have had on survival. Additionally he has interests in studying the evolution of the clonal disease itself throughout a patient’s clinical course. These efforts are strengthened by his support for the development of a provincial wide database initiate in plasma cell dycrasias and dysproteinemias.

Dr. Michael Wang

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma
I am a Professor in The Department of Lymphoma & Myeloma at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I obtained my M.D. from Shandong Medical University and M.S. from Beijing University, Medical School. I completed my clinical training as a resident at Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, CT and as a Fellow in Oncology and in Hematology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. I have published more than 180 peer-reviewed papers and have presented my work at meetings nationally and internationally. I am the current Director of Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) Program of Excellence. During the past 18 years, I have focused on preclinical and clinical research and established a MCL-SCID-hu mouse model, which is the first human primary MCL animal model for the study of the biology and treatment of MCL. My clinical research of the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib was published in the New Eng. J. Med. in 2013. I am currently acting as PI of the multisite international registration trials in MCL. I am also the PI of the B-Cell Lymphoma Moon Shot Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Anas Younes, MD

Chief, Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Professor, Weill-Cornell Medical College, New York

Dr. Anas Younes is chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Lymphoma Service, Division of Hematologic Oncology, where he is responsible for continuing to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into novel treatment strategies to improve the cure rate and survival of patients with Hodgkin (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). His interests include HL, NHL, developing novel targeted therapies for lymphoma, identification of biomarkers for treatment, and participation in clinical trials. He led the trials that resulted in the FDA approval of brentuximab vedotin and nivolumab for the treatment of patients with relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma.

Dr. Younes has published more than 250 papers, and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation. He is a past member of the National Cancer Institute Lymphoma Steering Committee. He has served as the principal investigator of more than 60 clinical trials and has led the National Cancer Institute-funded SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence) in lymphoma both at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and most recently at MSKCC. He is also the principal investigator of a SCOR grant supported by the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society.

Dr. Adrian Wiestner, MD, Ph.D,

Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Lymphoid Malignancies,
Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute,
NIH 

Dr. Wiestner earned his M.D. from the University of Basel Medical School in Switzerland in 1992, and he received his Ph.D. in genetics in 1998.  He joined NIH in 2000 and graduated from the Hematology Fellowship Program in 2003.  In September 2004, Dr. Wiestner was appointed as a Tenure Track Investigator with the NHLBI Hematology Branch and was promoted to Senior Investigator in December 2013.  He leads an integrated clinical and laboratory research program focused on chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).  Dr. Wiestner’s goals are to identify pathogenic pathways and translate novel agents and treatment strategies into clinical trials.  A major contribution of Dr. Wiestner’s is the delineation of drug induced changes in tumor biology during treatment and the identification of resistance mechanisms and potential predictive markers.